The head of the National Black Farmers Association joined Melissa Harris-Perry to share why he thinks Republican brinksmanship over the farm bill will hurt everyone.
It’s not just poor children that seem destined to suffer thanks to House Republican efforts to make this year’s farm bill so toxic that it couldn’t pass. Small farmers already struggle to compete with corporate factory farms, and what assistance they do receive from the federal government pales in comparison to what the biggest farms receive.
After heated debate and multiple amendments that would have made it all but impossible for people to qualify for what is commonly known as food stamps—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—and cuts that would have led to millions of United States residents, many of them children, losing their benefits, the farm bill was defeated in the House.
When John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association, spoke to Melissa Harris-Perry, he expressed his frustration at legislators that appear too concerned with, as fellow show guest Irin Carmon put it, appearing “ideologically pure” make smart policy. Boyd described the struggle to decide what he could buy when going to sow his crops because he had so little money left after paying his crop insurance, something large farms don’t have to do until after they’ve planted.
Watch him tell Melissa Harris-Perry what he thinks Congress needs to do to help both small farmers and people in need of food assistance above.